Over the years, live music has evolved from concerts to music festivals. Coming in many forms and styles. Music Festivals have evolved over the years, nowadays festivals offering a variety of self-improvement workshops, yoga, healthy food and a culture that spills into the world outside the event.
Founder Phil Pirrone launched Desert Daze Fest in 2012 and since then it has become something more than a music festival, it has evolved into a whole surreal psychedelic experience on a beautiful landscape.
Situated at the Institute of Mental Physics, a gorgeous sprawling meditation compound with buildings designed by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright the venue has provided a wealth of endearing distractions that has elevated the very standards of the psychedelic music festival.
Desert Daze founder Phil Pirrone spoke with us recently on the upcoming event to take place in Joshua Tree, California on October 13-15.
PRAXIS: Hello Phil, tell me a bit about yourself and how you came to work in the music industry?
PHIL: I’m a workaholic, a dad, a husband, and a musician. Punk Rock got me into the music industry.
PRAXIS: Tell me do you have a doctrine, belief or religion?
PHIL: Live Music.
PRAXIS: Did your family had any interest in music?
PHIL: You know, not really. My mom and dad were born in 1944. They weren’t hippies, they weren’t into the 60s or 70s thing. My mom liked The Beatles but that whole era sorta missed my Dad. He’s more of a classical guy. But, when I was 6 or 7, he brought a CD player home – that and recording music videos on VHS tapes were my introduction to a life long romance with music. Before that it was in the background.
PRAXIS: So, did you have any difficulty getting into the music scene?
PHIL: I started very young. My first show was at a coffee shop when I was 13. We played a lot of backyard parties as well as this venue called Showcase Theater in Corona. It wasn’t hard, because there were a lot of teenage bands doing stuff and we all just sort of played with each other. After that, I was lucky enough to have a friend in a band with a big deal manager, they showed our CD to him and he started managing us. We got super lucky. That’s how I first got my foot in any “door”, when I was 16.
PRAXIS: Could you tell us some experience that marked your course in the music scene?
PHIL: I toured from 16 – 21 pretty non stop with my best friends at the time. My most formative years were spent touring. That really shaped the person I am today. I’m very tribal and love to travel. I’m a nomad.
PRAXIS: So when you started, was it originally a passion project that just grew or was it something you had been thinking about for a long time?
PHIL: We had zero expectations. Was purely for fun at first.
PRAXIS: Can you tell me a little bit about the Desert Daze core crew?
PHIL: Were family. My wife and I started the festival and my best friends work on it with me. Our Site Manager married my first friend in the whole world and the Artist Relations director has been my bud since 7th grade. It’s like a family restaurant – we all put a lot of love into the festival and care about each other very much.
PRAXIS: Tell me about the venue. What are your favorite aspects of it?
PHIL: It’s a sacred site in Joshua Tree, CA. It was built upon a confluence of three underground rivers. The buildings on site were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his son, Lloyd using the principles of sacred geometry. It’s far out to say the least.
PRAXIS: What is the experience you want to create within the festival, for musicians and attendees?
PHIL: We want people to come with a purpose. We want them to leave with something that they can inject into their everyday lives. We want everyone to feel filled up, instead of totally drained.
PRAXIS: How did you choose the lineup this year?
PHIL: Pin the tail on the donkey
PRAXIS: What artists are you most looking forward to seeing perform this year?
PHIL: Iggy Pop
PRAXIS: What is different about Desert Daze this year?
PHIL: We added more films, more alternative programming, more art installations. It’s the same energy and spirit, just more of it.
PRAXIS: I read that there will be some activities, can you tell us a bit about that?
PHIL: Film Screenings, Yoga, Workshops, Sound Baths, Ceremonies, Q+As, art installations, VR, AR, and other weird interactive things.
PRAXIS: What have been some of the challenges putting on the festival?
PHIL: What hasn’t been?
PRAXIS: Do you have any advice for people interested in the business side of the music industry?
PHIL: Just don’t be crazy. And don’t write super long emails. No one has time for that shit.
PRAXIS: What would you say is the coolest and/or most crazy thing you’ve ever witnessed at Desert Daze?
PHIL: Oh Sees
PRAXIS: Do you see any future plans for Desert Daze?
PHIL: Working on 2018 already. We’ll be doing the Desert Daze Caravan again this spring and the festival again in the fall.
Desert Daze 2017 will be taking place on the Institute of Mental Physics, at Joshua Tree, California on October 13-15.